Did you know: The word “fall” comes from the Old English verb fallen, which means “to fall or die.” Before you fall, you might want to take advantage of some of Canada’s best autumnal experiences. By the way, no one is exactly sure where the word “Autumn” originated.
1. Cape Breton, Nova Scotia, Canada
Every October, for nine days, the Celtic Colors International Festival in Cape Breton honors the music, culture, and natural beauty of the island. Arriving singers, storytellers, and artists are welcomed by the island’s blossoming foliage, tens of thousands of tourists, fresh seafood, and that legendary island warmth. Concerts and workshops are held at community centers, theaters, and churches throughout the island, which is unique to the festival. The Great Canadian Bucket List already includes traveling the Cabot Trail. Locals claim that the fall is the perfect season to take one of the world’s best drives.
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2. Peterborough, Ontario, Canada
Peterborough and the Kawarthas are the perfect weekend getaway destinations for fall because they are 2.5 hours from Ottawa and 90 minutes from Toronto. While you can explore the largest wilderness preserve south of the Algonquin and well over a hundred lakes, there are several cabins and B&B vacations available. If you’re feeling daring, bring a headlamp and visit the Warsaw Caves and Conservation area to explore this underground recreation area. Just a short drive east of Peterborough, the Norwood Fall Fair has been a Thanksgiving tradition since 1868.
3. The Laurentians, Quebec
Many of the pictures of this 22,000 square kilometer region taken for tourism purposes to the north of Montreal feature the vibrant reds and oranges of the changing leaves. The maple groves are blazing, the mountain air is crisp, and love is in the air in the villages, spas, and resorts. In addition to enjoying the fall foliage, now is a fantastic time to try some of the gourmet foods made nearby, including cheese, wine, cider, sausages, honey, and maple syrup products. Numerous top-notch spas exist, like Nordic spas in Mont Tremblant and Inn Spas in Sainte- Adèle, where you may warm up on chilly nights.
4. Riding Mountain National Park, Manitoba
Consider visiting Riding Mountain National Park if you’re seeking for colorful foliage on the grasslands. There are moose, elk, black bears, and wolves living there, and it has a total area of about 3,000 km2 of rolling hills and boreal forest. The park offers a variety of unique fall-themed adventures. You can accompany interpreters as they follow elk herds and take part in one of the province’s most picturesque hikes, the Gorge Creek Trail, which follows the magnificent Manitoba Escarpment. Even better, you can join the park’s field research crew and become a citizen scientist.
5. Elk Ridge Resort, Saskatchewan
Treat yourself to some autumn treatment at this four-season resort in Saskatchewan if you’re in the area. It’s approximately an hour’s drive from Prince Albert. The fall foliage of the nearby forest is sheer visual candy, whether you’re birdwatching, hiking along the 400km of manicured trails, or playing a round of golf on the 27-hole championship course. Not only are the leaves colorful, but if you stay up late, you can even catch a glimpse of the Northern Lights illuminating the night sky.
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6. The Canadian (Canada)
Why not take one of the world’s great train rides this fall? It runs year-round (and a favorite on The Great Canadian Bucket List). Between Toronto and Vancouver, VIA Rail’s “Canadian” takes four days and features comfortable sleeping cars (including new premium cars with double beds), top-notch restaurants, and a serene, elegant atmosphere. With the large viewing windows, you can actually see the environment change in front of you as you travel through the tremendous Rockies, across the plains, and along the Ontario lakes. Visitors can either stop at significant cities along the journey or choose to relax and take in the motion blur of red, orange, and yellow.
7. PEI’s Fall Flavor Festival
The inclusion of PEI’s lobsters and oysters on The Great Canadian Bucket is no accident. The island’s culinary scene must be experienced to be believed, and fall is the ideal season to do so. This month-long festival, which takes place all around the island, allows you to dig your own clams, harvest your own potatoes, or just watch some of the top chefs in the area demonstrate their skills both in front of the crowd and in the kitchen. The foliage of maple, poplar, birch, and beech trees creates a colorful backdrop to the clear, bright fall weather on Prince Edward Island.
8. The Fall Okanagan Wine Festival, BC
In BC’s Okanagan Valley, where you may take in the celebrations during the height of the wine harvest, there are over 165 events held each October. While thousands of guests are enjoying the largest festival in the area, you may wine and dine among the vines at some of the region’s top vineyard restaurants. It’s the only celebration held during the grape harvest in North America. In addition to the activities, educational lectures, and fine dining, Lake Okanagan’s(Canada) breathtaking beauty can be enjoyed when you relax in a spa, play a round of golf, ride a bike, or go on a hike.
9. Agawa Canyon Train Tour, Ontario (Canada)
Consider this one-day excursion into the Ontario wilderness if you loved the concept of seeing the fall foliage by rail but would like something a bit shorter. From Sault Ste. Marie, the train runs 114 kilometers north. Marie traveled through a region of lakes, forests, and stunning granite cliffs known as the Canada Shield. Departures throughout the fall season have long been a favorite of foliage enthusiasts. The experience is enhanced by a GPS commentary of the area’s features and cultural history, as well as by the 90 minutes you have to spend in Canyon Park. Large viewing windows and flat-screen TVs in each carriage of the train offer “locomotive” vistas.
10. Lanaudiere et Mauricie, Quebec
In this area between Montreal and Quebec City, (Canada) which has 10,000 lakes and a panorama of apparently unending parks and forests, the foliage bursts into bloom. Small towns and villages that exude an old-world charm are also available, complete with bistros and quaint stores where you can find refuge as the days grow shorter. There are several sizable national parks in the region. The 536 square kilometer La Mauricie National Park is a wooded area with gorgeous lakes and walks for people of all fitness levels. There are numerous driving routes that follow the history of New France, going back and forth over the Chemin du Roy, Canada’s first overland route.